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20.4. Premier League Betting Preview: The Merseyside derby!

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There are three Premier League matches played this Wednesday, and luckily none of them are dead rubbers! All of the home teams tonight are battling for places in next season’s European competitions. Manchester United, West Ham and Liverpool are all within 5 points of each other with currently 7th placed Liverpool having a game in hand over their rivals. The stage is set for an exciting night, as tonight’s results will have a huge bearing on each team’s position when the Premier League draws to a close.

19:45 West Ham – Watford

Occupying the last European spot, 6th-placed West Ham will undoubtedly be extremely motivated tonight, as their 2-2 draw with Leicester must have left a bit in their teeth. West Ham were on the verge of a 1-2 upset at the home of the league leaders, until referee Jon Moss whistled a stoppage-time penalty for the Foxes robbing the Hammers of 2 valuable points. The draw left a sour taste in the West Ham player’s mouths, which was mirrored in the players’ post-match comments.

Watford on the other hand ended their winless run of 6 games with a 0-1 away win at West Bromwich. The Hornets don’t have much to play for in the league, but their season could still end on a high due to next weekend’s FA Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace. West Ham will be a rough host if any of Watford’s players’ minds drift towards next weekend and Wembley. Watford’s defence has been the bedrock of their season, as the Hornets have conceded only 37 goals in 33 matches. However, their strong defensive record has perhaps come at the expense of their form in the other end of the pitch, as they’ve only scored 32 goals all season.

Both sides have the luxury of having a fully healthy squad to pick from. Watford will try to keep the game at a slow tempo and the score as low as possible which will prove a tough task against West Ham’s free-flowing attack. On the other hand, the men from Vicarage Road might find the net themselves as the Hammers’ last clean sheet dates as far back as the start of March.

West Ham’s last five matches:

17.4.2016 Leicester – West Ham 2-2

13.4. 2016 West Ham – Manchester United 1-2 (FA Cup)

9.4.2016 West Ham – Arsenal 3-3

2.4.2016 West Ham – Crystal Palace 2-2

19.3.2016 Chelsea – West Ham 2-2

Watford’s last five matches:

16.4.2016 West Bromwich – Watford 0-1

9.4.2016 Watford – Everton 1-1

2.4.2016 Arsenal – Watford 4-0

19.3.2016 Watford – Stoke 1-2

13.3.2016 Arsenal – Watford 1-2 (FA Cup)

Previous meetings between the sides this season:

31.10.2015 Watford – West Ham 2-0

Betting Tips:

Home advantage, quality and motivational factors considered West Ham are clear favourites for the win tonight. Watford have nothing to play for in the league, whereas West Ham are desperately chasing Manchester United. Our money’s on the hosts.

** 1x2: West Ham 11/20 Betsafe

 

20:00 Liverpool – Everton

Liverpool and Everton play out the 226th Merseyside derby tonight. However, this will be the first time Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp experiences the intense derby atmosphere at Anfield, as his predecessor Brendan Rogers was fired after the last meeting between the two sides after a 1-1 draw.

The hosts’ season has been gaining momentum in recent weeks, as Klopp’s men are undefeated in their last five games. The highlight of this run has to be the 4-3 comeback-win against Dortmund, meaning the Reds still have a chance to qualify for European football even if their form in the league deserts them. Although the Europa League remains the only possible trophy that Liverpool can win, Klopp has insisted that their primary focus is a strong finish in the Premier League. And for good reason too, as their run-in may still have a large effect on their final position come the end of the season. ‘Pool come into the match five points behind Manchester United and two behind West Ham with a game in hand.

Meanwhile, Everton’s season seems to have run out of steam. The Toffee’s come to Anfield in search for a first win in five games, but the 3 draws during that run will do little to boost confidence for the blue half of Merseyside. Everton’s last Premier League victory dates as far back as the 1st of March, when they defeated a lacklustre Aston Villa side. Bad performances have led their league position to drop, as they currently occupy 11th position, meaning Roberto Martinez’s have only pride and bragging rights to play for in tonight’s derby. Despite their lack of form in the league, the Goodison faithful could still be celebrating a trophy come the end of the season, as they have a date with Manchester United at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-finals.

Both teams have some notable injury absentees. Liverpool will have to cope without the abilities of Emre Can, Jordan Henderson and Christian Benteke, while Divock Origi’s and Kolo Toure’s fitness remains doubtful. Everton’s sick-bay is currently occupied by at least Tom Cleverley, Seamus Coleman and Phil Jagielka, with Leighton Baines and Aaron Lennon facing late fitness tests.

Everton’s last victory in the derby was in 2010, and current form considered it would be a surprise if they left Anfield with all three points. Liverpool are clear favourites, but if the Toffee’s star names such as Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley manage to recover from their slight slump, they could lead their team to victory.

Liverpool’s last five matches:

17.4.2016 Bournemouth – Liverpool 1-2

14.4.2016 Liverpool – Dortmund 4-3 (Europa League)

10.4.2016 Liverpool – Stoke 4-1

7.4.2016 Dortmund – Liverpool 1-1 (Europa League)

2.4.2016 Liverpool – Tottenham 1-1

Everton’s last five matches:

16.4.2016 Everton – Southampton 1-1

13.4.2016 Crystal Palace – Everton 0-0

9.4.2016 Watford – Everton 1-1

3.4.2016 Manchester United – Everton 1-2

19.3.2016 Everton – Arsenal 0-2

Previous meetings between the sides this season:

4.10.2015 Everton – Liverpool 1-1

Premier League Tips:

Liverpool are by far the form side of the two, and they still have a slim chance of catching Manchester United and West Ham in the battle for European football. Everton’s main focus this season is the FA Cup, and Anfield hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the Toffee’s in recent seasons. ‘Pool for the win!

** 1x2: Liverpool 13/20 Unibet

 

20:00 Manchester United – Crystal Palace

Manchester United aren’t simply trying to hold on to their 5th place and a place in next season’s Europa League, as they still have their eyes firmly set on 4th and Champions League football. Fourth-placed Arsenal can still be caught, as their advantage on the Red Devils is merely four points. This feat would still require an incredible effort, but motivational problems definitely aren’t the issue at Old Trafford.

United got back up on their feet after the humiliating 3-0 defeat against Tottenham with wins over West Ham in the FA Cup quarter-finals and Aston Villa in the league. Despite the victory, United weren’t convincing against Villa, but the three points could be worth a lot come the end of the season. As the case has been often this season, the Red Devils needed some Marcus Rashford magic to claim all three points, this youngster’s name is definitely one worth remembering. United have lost only once in their last seven matches in all competitions, winning four times in the process. United will also make an appearance in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley next weekend, where they come up against Everton.

Crystal Palace also have their sights on FA Cup glory, as they also have a semi-final to be contested next weekend against Watford. Besides the Cup, Palace seem to have picked up some form in the league as well given their four-match unbeaten streak. During this run they’ve picked up some crucial points against Arsenal and West Ham to name a few, meaning the Eagles can feel relatively safe about their Premier League status. However, their survival isn’t set in stone as of yet, unlike the fact that Old Trafford will witness a match between two sides high on confidence tonight. Palace picked up two away draws against Arsenal and West Ham, which showcased their ability to make life difficult for stronger teams, even away. Alan Pardew’s men are a tough nut to crack on their day.

The thing causing the most anxiety in the Palace camp is their lengthy list of injuries. Dwight Gale, Brede Hangeland, Marouane Chamakh, Joel Ward, Kwesi Appiah and Scott Dann are unlikely to feature in the squad, while their skilful winger Yannick Bolasie is also a fitness doubt. United on the other hand have a relatively fit squad, as only Bastian Schweinsteiger and Luke Shaw will miss tonight’s match. Ander Herrera and Adnan Januzaj have suffered knocks, but may recover in time to feature at Old Trafford tonight.

United are obviously favourites, but if their attacking woes continue, Palace could be in with a chance. Louis van Gaal’s men have conceded the least goals in the league at home this season, while Palace have a rather solid defence of their own on their day as their recent results have showed. A high-scoring, entertaining match is therefore unlikely, but an away win would require United to underperform quite drastically.

Manchester United’s last five matches:

16.4.2016 Manchester United - Aston Villa 1-0

13.4.2016 West Ham - Manchester United 1-2

10.4.2016 Tottenham - Manchester United 3-0

3.4.2016 Manchester United - Everton 1-0

20.3.2016 Manchester City - Manchester United 0-1

Crystal Palace’s last five matches:

17.4.2016 Arsenal – Crystal Palace 1-1

13.4.2016 Crystal Palace – Everton 0-0

9.4.2016 Crystal Palace – Norwich 1-0

2.4.2016 West Ham – Crystal Palace 2-2

19.3.2016 Crystal Palace – Leicester 0-1

Previous meetings between the two sides this season:

31.10.2015 Crystal Palace – Manchester United 0-0

Betting Tips:

A low-scoring match should be a base from which to build from in tonight’s match. Under 2.5 goals total is the best choice in our opinion and the best odds for that can be found at Bet365.com.

** Under 2.5 goals: 9/10 Bet365

 

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